Commitment to the Code of Conduct of BIST Mentoring Programme

1. Background:

This document compiles some recommendations to ensure that the mentoring programme is helpful and that it runs smoothly. Most of the recommendations below are common sense, but it is never redundant to read them in print. Read them carefully and confirm at the end that you are aware that as a mentor or as a mentee you are entitled to some rights but also some obligations. It is everybody’s job to ensure that we all enjoy this programme.

2. Description of the programme:

BIST Mentoring Programme will run for around 6 months since the matching happens and mentoring pairs are expected to meet around 6 times within this period, but we understand that some pairs might need more sessions, some may need less than 6. An online session has been offered for all mentors and mentees. Attendance to the training session is mandatory for mentors and mentees. During the programme mentors and mentees will be asked to fill individual feedback forms that will be used for organizers to monitor the progression of the programme.

The programme is aimed to promote the professional development and professional transition of mentees and they are encouraged to be proactive in approaching their mentors and preparing meetings to be aligned with their interests and needs. Mentors should support them along this process.

3. Commitments for mentors and mentees to establish a fruitful mentoring relationship within this programme:

3.1. for mentors:

  • Principles of the mentoring relationship: Relationships should be based on mutual trust, respect and will to promote the professional development of mentees; it is important to remember the influence a mentor can have over a mentee, so be nice and professional, you are a role model. Mentors should offer guidance, coaching, challenge, and encouragement based on their knowledge and experience.
  • Driven relationship: Contributing to a supportive, open, and constructive relationship aligned with the interests and needs of mentees.

3.2. For mentees:

  • Get ready: Come to each mentoring session prepared and ready to make the most of the opportunity by looking for multiple opportunities and experiences to enhance your learning. Be clear about your objective for this programme. Be always nice and communicative to your mentor. Be pr-active.

3.3. For both the mentor and the mentee:

  • Time commitment. Maintaining the time commitment to conduct mentoring meetings and responding to queries and requests within the agreed timeframe. Provide at least 24 h notice (apart from emergencies) if you cannot attend a mentoring session, and re-schedule as soon as possible.
  • Confidentiality. Anything said during a mentoring meeting is confidential to the parties involved and should not be repeated without the express consent of those individuals. There is no contact with the management line of the mentee. Confidentiality should be maintained in all circumstances, except if the other person is apparently at risk, in which case they will contact a programme representative and if needed, a relevant service (hospital, police, etc). The programme representatives will maintain confidentiality unless a breach of confidentiality is necessary to maintain someone’s personal safety.
  • Respect. Showing respect for each other’s research work, ideas, and professional development by acknowledging these where appropriate and after obtaining permission to do so.
  • Inclusivity. Ensure that no one is discriminated against due to religion, belief, race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, colour, etc. Inclusion is the responsibility of everyone in the mentoring relationship; be aware that many disabilities are invisible. Be sensitive to different approaches to certain topics in different cultures.
  • Enriching the programme. Willingness to report back on the experience to the programme organizers to improve the mission of the programme and the experience of their participants. You can contact centre representatives or the programme manager at BIST.
  • Ask for support. Mentors and mentees should ask for support when the previous commitments have not been accomplished. If you detect that the mentor/mentee is at risk or behaving incorrectly, please report to the organising team.

4. Recommendations for a good meeting:

  • Do not allow yourself to become engaged with any participant in any activity that may be construed as having sexual connotations, or that may intimidate or make the other person feel uncomfortable.
  • Be aware of the vulnerability of some participants.
  • If you need to be alone with a participant use a public space if possible, or ensure the door is open and position yourself in the room so you can be always seen from the doorway.
  • Communicate via sensible means such as email. The mentor and mentee will discuss whether to share personal contact details such as mobile phone numbers and do so only if both of you feel comfortable.

5. Information about contact person at each centre:

The programme is monitored by human resources and academic departments at BIST centres. You can contact them whenever you need support in developing a fruitful mentoring relationship and when you consider that one principle underlying a mentoring relationship has been totally or partially broken.

If you are a BIST researcher, please contact the person at your centre listed at

If you are an external professional, please contact the programme manager at BIST, listed also at

6. Commitment

By joining this programme, you explicitly agree with this code of conduct and understand that you have some rights and obligations. By accepting, you agree to commit to these principles and commit yourself to ask for help or support when needed.


Date: 21/07/2024

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